2. The third gospel gets its name from the writer, Luke (light-giving), or Lucas, which is an abbreviated form of Lucanus.

  4. The name Luke occurs three times in the New Testament (Col 4:14; II Tim 4:11; Phil 24). Combining tradition with scripture, we have the following indefinite outline of his life: According to Eusebius, Luke was a native of Antioch in Syria, and according to Paul, he was a physician (Col 4:14). Tradition says that he was also a painter. He must have been a Gentile, for he is not reckoned among those "of the circumcision" by Paul (Col 4:11-14). The "We Sections" of Acts indicate that Luke was a companion of Paul, and writer of Acts of Apostles. Apparently, he joined Paul at Troas on the second tour and journeyed with him to Philippi (Acts 16:11-40). He remained at Philippi until Paul returned on the third tour. Luke then joined the missionary party again, accompanying Paul to Caesarea and finally to Rome (Acts 20:1-17; also chapters 20-28). We know nothing of his age and death. In his preface (Lk 1:1-4), the writer indicates that he was not an eyewitness of the Lord from the first.

    1. The date: Probably about A.D. 60-63 while Luke was with Paul at Caesarea or in Rome.
    2. Place where written: As indicated above, probably Caesarea or Rome.
    3. Addressee: Theophilus, a Gentile, and probably a native of Italy.
    4. Subject: Jesus the Savior of all men.
    5. Source of information: Luke was guided by the Holy Spirit. Whether he witnessed any or all of the facts recorded in the narrative cannot be decided with any degree of certainty.
    6. Language: It was written in Greek.
    7. Characteristics: Tidwell (The Bible Book by Book) gives the following:
      1. It is a gospel of song and praise (1:46-55; 1:68-79; 2:14, 29-32).
      2. It is a gospel of prayer (3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:28; 11:1;23:34,46).
      3. It is a gospel of womanhood (1:42-45; 1:46-55; 2:36-38; 7:12-15; 7:36-50; 8:1-3; 8:48; 10:38-42; 13:16; 23:28).
      4. It is a gospel of the poor (3:12; 5:27,29,30; 7:36-50; 8:43-48; 15:30; 15:11-32; 16:19-31; 14:7-24; 19:1-9; 23:39-43).
      5. It is a Gentile gospel. The genealogy traces Christ's lineage back to Adam instead of Abraham, for Adam was a representative of all humanity. Luke presents Jesus as a joy to all the people (2:10,32).
      6. It is a gospel for the Greek. Greeks were interested in perfect humanity. Thought, beauty, speech, and spirit were cultivated to the highest point. Hence Luke presents Jesus as perfect, the Savior of all men.
      7. It is an artistic gospel. Luke was the most cultured of the gospel writers. His gospel has been called the most beautiful book in the world.

    1. Six miracles and eleven parables are peculiar to Luke. List and study them in detail.
    2. Study the following characteristic phrases which occur in Luke and list the places where each is found:
      1. "Son of Man."
      2. "Son of God."
      3. "Kingdom of God."
    3. The Gospel According to Luke emphasizes Christ's interest in the last, the least, and the lost. As you read the book, list all the illustrations of each of these groups.
    4. Study the following songs recorded by Luke and explain the Latin title associated with each:
      1. "Magnificat" (Luke 1:46-55).
      2. "Benedictus" (Luke 1:67-79).
      3. "Gloria in Excelsis" (Luke 2:14).
      4. "Nune Dimittis" (Luke 2:29-32).

Published in The Old Paths Archive

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